Escaping the Vacuum: Take a Knifemaking Class to Get Yourself Out of the Rut – by Jamin Brackett
I started my knifemaking journey in 2009. I have hit many walls along the way. God always seemed to put the right mentor in my path, at just the right time. Over the years, my mentors have faded away into retirement or passed away.
In 2022, after nearly two years of COVID lockdowns, a supply chain crisis, underquoted special orders, a bandsaw accident, and an even more serious accident I found myself in a rut, working in a vacuum, cut off from my brother makers.
You see, we all can burn out. I began looking at my list of current living makers whom I admired, and other makers I followed on social media. I saw something unexpected, at least to me. Those who continually appeared to grow in the craft were either taking classes or teaching others. Some of these guys are regularly teaching others.
As I felt my rut was deep, I decided to take a course, something I’d never done. As a stock removal guy I’d never forged a blade or billet. I began looking on Instagram where I’d seen some of my mentors posting courses. One stood out immediately. Chris Williams of Wilmont Grinders had literally just posted a four-day damascus chef knife class. I messaged him for details. A few hours later, two dear friends and I were signed up, with deposits paid.
This article appears in the September 2022 issue of KNIFE Magazine. We are making it free to everyone, just click on the blue button below to read the whole thing.